Author Topic: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced  (Read 12714 times)

golunvolo

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2018, 21:54:16 »

Most long glass shooters shoot between f/4 - f/8, so having f/2.8, or wider, provides almost zero benefit in the field.
Only human portrait shooters care about super-wide apertures.

   I guess I´m not most. Not to take it personally but I will get any extra light. I have used 300mm 2.8 and 400mm 2.8 all wide open. Actually considering the 200-400 for stage because of the already mentioned useful zoom range. I may should give it a try. The new version is way out of my budget   

Akira

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2018, 22:00:19 »
probably you would add a tc like with other long lenses - and just leave it - not change on and off on safari? Just guessing.

Akira - I am interested to know why you are not in favour of plenty elements - cost? or do you think it unnecessarily complicates the design?

I've used a 300mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter, and I often felt putting the TC on and off was clumsy.

In general, I'm big fan of simplicity, which is not based on the science, but is more spiritual.   Seriously.

I would understand that more elements would be needed for more functions (wider zoom range, VR, TC) and more aberration correction.  But more glass elements will absorb more light, increase chances of flare and/or ghost.  Also, the complicated design makes the manufacturing of the lens more tricky.  I've had sour experiences with higher-end zoom lenses, which also influences my opinion and feeling.
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2018, 22:11:15 »
A more realistic cost comparison would be with a typical sports photographer’s kit (70-200/2.8 and 400/2.8, for example).

It is typical that newspapers will not publish an image with (unpaid) advertisements at the sports venue becoming legible in the image, so the photographers use tricks like the 400/2,8 wide open to avoid those texts and logos becoming readable in the images. If you have a full body image, a 400/2.8 may just be what is required to achieve this.

There are without doubt merits to the zoom and applications for it (being able to frame images quickly from a fixed position is one). However, today we have 45MP cameras and so you can do a bit of cropping with a prime too. A variety of approaches can lead to the desired end result.

Akira

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2018, 22:41:35 »
A more realistic cost comparison would be with a typical sports photographer’s kit (70-200/2.8 and 400/2.8, for example).

It is typical that newspapers will not publish an image with (unpaid) advertisements at the sports venue becoming legible in the image, so the photographers use tricks like the 400/2,8 wide open to avoid those texts and logos becoming readable in the images. If you have a full body image, a 400/2.8 may just be what is required to achieve this.

There are without doubt merits to the zoom and applications for it (being able to frame images quickly from a fixed position is one). However, today we have 45MP cameras and so you can do a bit of cropping with a prime too. A variety of approaches can lead to the desired end result.

I think sports shooters still use lower pixel models like D5 as their main cameras, so zooming would be needed to compensate for their limited croppability.  The slower f-stop could be compensated by the high-ISO capability of D-single-digit models which is superior to that of D850.
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Roland Vink

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2018, 23:16:43 »
Big telephotos like the 300/2.8 already have "built-in" teleconverter in the rear group, this is why they are called "tele-photo" lenses rather than long focal length lenses. The converter keeps the lens more compact, consider the size of the "telephoto" AFS 800/5.6 (only 461mm long) compared to the "long focus" 800/8 ED (684mm long with focus unit). Actually the 800/8 ED physical length is considerably shorter than the focal length, so it is also a telephoto, but not to the same degree as the AFS 800/5.6.

So a 300/2.8 is probably more like a 200mm or 250mm lens if you ignore the rear converter group. Adding another TC to a telephoto seems like an inefficient way of increasing the focal length further since you end up with two converter groups at the rear which are not necessarily well matched. Surely it would be better to remove the rear converter group and replace it entirely with another (stronger) dedicated converter group. Better but not so practical. This is in effect what Leica did with their modular SLR telephoto system, where a single lens head can be combined with three focus/teleconverter units (see https://www.apotelyt.com/photo-lens/leica-apo-telyt-r-module).

I sometimes wonder why there are no telephotos with a variable strength rear converter group, in effect turning it into a variable aperture zoom. For example a 300-420/2.8-4 or 300-600/2.8-5.6. The AI-P 1200-1700/5.6-8 is the only example that matches this description. It is probably something like a 850/4 prime with a built-in variable 1.4-2x converter. Yes the zoom range is small and zooming in causes the aperture speed to drop off more quickly than most zooms, but it is no different to adding a separate TC, and it is certainly far more convenient, and could be properly optimised for each lens.

JKoerner007

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2018, 23:21:27 »
Nikon specs say the near limit is 2 m at all focal settings.

Or 6.5' in US terms.

Not only that, the reproduction ratio at its closest focusing distance is 0.25x (1:4) vs only 0.15x on the Canon equivalent.

To be able to get a 1:4 reproduction ratio, from 6.5' away, makes this a veritable "super macro" for dragonflies, large butterflies, etc. ... let alone sports and birds.

A significant advantage over the Canon equivalent ... and every other super-telephoto as well, for that matter.

Akira

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2018, 23:26:43 »
So a 300/2.8 is probably more like a 200mm or 250mm lens if you ignore the rear converter group. Adding another TC to a telephoto seems like an inefficient way of increasing the focal length further since you end up with two converter groups at the rear which are not necessarily well matched. Surely it would be better to remove the rear converter group and replace it entirely with another (stronger) dedicated converter group. Better but not so practical. This is in effect what Leica did with their modular SLR telephoto system, where a single lens head can be combined with three focus/teleconverter units (see https://www.apotelyt.com/photo-lens/leica-apo-telyt-r-module).

Needless to say this to you, Roland, but Nikon also employed the interchangeable rear converter system for its large format telephoto lenses.

The Leica system is cost effective when you want to have more than one telephoto lenses, but I guess that is no as convenient as the normal TC system in the field, obviously.
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2018, 00:29:08 »
Almost everyone I know wishes Nikon's 400mm f/2.8 came in a PF f/4 version, precisely because all the f/2.8 aperture does is add extra weight (it is 8.3 lb!).

I'm sure stadium sports shooter value the extra stop. Stadium shooter need to blur out the crowd if shooting from the field level. I'd rather have the PF f/4. I've handled the old 400/3.5 AIS ED-IF. At 2.8K it wasn't that bad. My 400/5.6 AI ED at 1.2K is more reasonable to hand hold but 400mm is more suited to a tripod or at least a monopod. I find it hard to frame hand held.

Only human portrait shooters care about super-wide apertures.

There are many reasons for using a wide aperture not just portraiture or candids.

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JKoerner007

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2018, 03:43:59 »
I'm sure stadium sports shooter value the extra stop. Stadium shooter need to blur out the crowd if shooting from the field level.
I'd rather have the PF f/4. I've handled the old 400/3.5 AIS ED-IF. At 2.8K it wasn't that bad. My 400/5.6 AI ED at 1.2K is more reasonable to hand hold but 400mm is more suited to a tripod or at least a monopod. I find it hard to frame hand held.

There are many reasons for using a wide aperture not just portraiture or candids.

Dave Hartman

Nonsense. There is no sports shooter on earth who shoots f/2.8. Not a single one.

Stadiums have artificial light, so the need for wide apertures is not the same as low-light situations.

With wildlife photography, the only time I shoot f/2.8 is if I am using a 2x extender, which gives me an effective f/5.6.

Regarding "blurring out the crowd," here is f/5.6: Does anyone need a background anymore blurred than this, folks? (both @ f/5.6) :o ::) ;D

Chip Chipowski

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2018, 05:15:18 »
Quote
Nonsense. There is no sports shooter on earth who shoots f/2.8. Not a single one.

John, you have good points to make, so why ruin your credibility by making such hyperbolic statements?

elsa hoffmann

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2018, 05:59:00 »
I've used a 300mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter, and I often felt putting the TC on and off was clumsy.

In general, I'm big fan of simplicity, which is not based on the science, but is more spiritual.   Seriously.

I would understand that more elements would be needed for more functions (wider zoom range, VR, TC) and more aberration correction.  But more glass elements will absorb more light, increase chances of flare and/or ghost.  Also, the complicated design makes the manufacturing of the lens more tricky.  I've had sour experiences with higher-end zoom lenses, which also influences my opinion and feeling.

I am not a fan of TC's either - eventually sold my 2x TCIII - used it on one trip and hated it. I get you on the Simplicity thing.


Regarding "blurring out the crowd," here is f/5.6: Does anyone need a background anymore blurred than this, folks? (both @ f/5.6) :o ::) ;D

Nonsense.  This is decided by distance to background as well - and not just your f5.6. And all to often you cant choose that background.
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2018, 06:16:13 »
Nonsense. There is no sports shooter on earth who shoots f/2.8. Not a single one.

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chambeshi

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2018, 10:23:19 »
Big telephotos like the 300/2.8 already have "built-in" teleconverter in the rear group, this is why they are called "tele-photo" lenses rather than long focal length lenses. The converter keeps the lens more compact, consider the size of the "telephoto" AFS 800/5.6 (only 461mm long) compared to the "long focus" 800/8 ED (684mm long with focus unit). Actually the 800/8 ED physical length is considerably shorter than the focal length, so it is also a telephoto, but not to the same degree as the AFS 800/5.6.

So a 300/2.8 is probably more like a 200mm or 250mm lens if you ignore the rear converter group. Adding another TC to a telephoto seems like an inefficient way of increasing the focal length further since you end up with two converter groups at the rear which are not necessarily well matched. Surely it would be better to remove the rear converter group and replace it entirely with another (stronger) dedicated converter group. Better but not so practical. This is in effect what Leica did with their modular SLR telephoto system, where a single lens head can be combined with three focus/teleconverter units (see https://www.apotelyt.com/photo-lens/leica-apo-telyt-r-module).

I sometimes wonder why there are no telephotos with a variable strength rear converter group, in effect turning it into a variable aperture zoom. For example a 300-420/2.8-4 or 300-600/2.8-5.6. The AI-P 1200-1700/5.6-8 is the only example that matches this description. It is probably something like a 850/4 prime with a built-in variable 1.4-2x converter. Yes the zoom range is small and zooming in causes the aperture speed to drop off more quickly than most zooms, but it is no different to adding a separate TC, and it is certainly far more convenient, and could be properly optimised for each lens.
Thanks for this interesting information. The 300 f2.8G is my core telephoto :-)

The in-built TC in a 180-400 f4 does have its appeal. But 3.5kg is pushing the envelope for handheld shooting. Personally, I find 2.9/3.0kg the upper limit to not only shoot but carry - Thus the 200 f2G or 300 f2.8G with a D850 or D500 is the best compromise. Being shorter length, both these lenses are easier to wield than longer telephotos. Time and again they deliver in situations on birds and mammals where monopod or a tripod is impossible. Obviously, one can exploit the legendary bokeh of both these primes... full open if necessary :-)

After months of usage, I find the TC2 III and TC14 II essential to capture birds with these 2 Nikkors. The TC2 gives excellent IQ on the D850. The pay off in twinning TCs with the exotic Nikkor primes up to 600 is widely confirmed - cf Brad Hill, Thom Hogan, reviews on Photography Life etc

I still see the 500 fE FL is the optimal solution for my needs demanding longer reach on wildlife. At <3.1 kg it's manageable to carry and handhold. Less weight and longer FL than all the 400 solutions. The 500 f4 with the 1.4 TC = 700 f5.6 + the capability for much rarer cases demanding a 1000 f8, which then demands a tripod. As prices compare (RRP), 1000 less quid for a new 500 f4E is substantial. For only 1 lens, I would invest that in a 600 f4E at 300g heavier than the 180-400.

The 400 solution that would be a boon for simpler carry is a 400 fE PF to complement the 300 f4E PF. Since the excellent 400 f5.6AIS, weighing 1.2kg, Nikon have neglected this vacant niche for too long. Fresnel technology, fluorite elements, and the lighter Mg chassis of modern primes allows for a handy 400 f4E PF. Its design should maintain decent IQ with the TC1.4.... just my recurring plea to Nikon.....

Zooms have undeniable advantages, which is why so many of us depend on them. But IMHO (and African experiences since 1983) a FL of 400mm is still too short for too many wildlife subjects - especially on FX. Even with the remarkable benefits promised in a dedicated, in built TC, 560mm is also limiting for smaller subjects, pertinently birds. Either a 400 prime and 180/200-400 Zoom lacks the capacity to extend the FL to the 700 f5.6 of a 500 f4. As with the 200-400 f4, this 180-400 f4 sounds ideal in a vehicle or hide, where it's simpler to have it on a 2nd camera & even better on a D500. It will very likely become a most reliable optic in many sports arenas.

2 examples appended 300 f2.8G with TC2 III. Blue Cranes - D500 ISO400, Cape Batis with moth 100%crop - D850 ISO5600
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MFloyd

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2018, 13:04:20 »
In 2017, I lost some equipment; in the meantime, everything has been replaced, except the Nikkor 300m f/2.8 VR II, as I was waiting for the new FL version. In the meantime I bought the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL, which gives me a reach of 400mm with the TC20E. The 180-400mm could be an alternative, provided the quality is there (which was not entirely the case of the 200-400mm), to give me the close to 600mm reach.

I'm quite surprised about disappointments with the Nikkor TC's. At the beginning, I was quite sceptical, but the results in the field proved to be very satisfactory (on the 300mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8 ).

And yes, I'm shooting these lenses also wide open; though the wide opening is more there to provide more light to the AF system. I'm shooting a lot of "speed blurs" which results that I'm shooting often at f/14-18 (I don't like using ND filters)

Pictures with TC20-E III:

(1) D5 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL + TC-20E III @400mm f/14 1/125s ISO100
(2) D5 + Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR II + TC-20E III @ 600mm f/18 1/80s ISO 100
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chambeshi

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Re: Nikon AF-S 180-400mm f/4 announced
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2018, 13:13:44 »
In 2017, I lost some equipment; in the meantime, everything has been replaced, except the Nikkor 300m f/2.8 VR II, as I was waiting for the new FL version. In the meantime I bought the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL, which gives me a reach of 400mm with the TC20E. The 180-400mm could be an alternative, provided the quality is there (which was not entirely the case of the 200-400mm), to give me the close to 600mm reach.

I'm quite surprised about disappointments with the Nikkor TC's. At the beginning, I was quite sceptical, but the results in the field proved to be very satisfactory (on the 300mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8 ).

And yes, I'm shooting these lenses also wide open; though the wide opening is more there to provide more light to the AF system.
Good to see TCE2 delivers on the 70-200 f2.8E

fyi Brad Hill just posted his take on the 180-400  http://www.naturalart.ca/voice/blog.html#Nikon180-400Thoughts
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